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May 07 Businessexcellence Golden Grain Energy 59 expansion centers on piping and wiring. Stainless steel tanks have been completed for the fermenters, liquefaction and slurry areas. Agitators and transformers are to be delivered and installed. The new cooling tower is complete, and a contractor is on-site assembling the driers and thermal oxidizer. Corn grinders and the material handling area are complete except for some electrical work. Centrifuges have been placed, the distillation system has been placed, and all evaporators are in place, with just piping and electrical needed for those systems. Meanwhile, GGE is focused on production with an initiative in lean manufacturing. Wendland also noted that, in addition to lean, an advanced processing system installed in the plant also keeps them effi cient. “We have one of the best groups of employees that operate our facility. We are really fortunate,” he said. “Ethanol has created an overwhelming new market for corn; we almost can’t produce enough.” Wendland is glad that GGE is fulfi lling the opportunity that ethanol production brings to farming by way of market stability and profi t. “Ethanol production has a high return on investment. One bushel of corn yields 2.8 gallons of the nature to ethanol. Years ago, that ratio was more like 2.5, so technology has increased effi ciency there too,” he said. “Blenders get a $.51 credit per gallon from the federal government so that is driving growth, too.” Increased demand has also generated increased competition. “There is huge interest in building ethanol plants but older, established companies like us have claimed the best locations. Plus, the cost of building plants is at least 50 percent higher due to increased demand. Now there is a higher barrier to entry and more risk,” he concluded.

Businessexcellence May 07 60 Anthony Trimino, co-founder, creative director and CEO of marketing and advertising agency Traffi k, tells Martin Ashcroft how an exceptional commitment to quality shapes the way the company does business Creative A quick scan of any company website will usually reveal a statement about its commitment to quality. At Traffi k, a small advertising and marketing agency based in the artists’ district in downtown Los Angeles, California, quality is an ethos. So much so that the company is controlling its growth to avoid diluting its creative edge. A two-man start up design business seven years ago, Traffi k quickly grew to 24 employees, before deciding on a strategic downsize. Ten to twelve employees is now seen as the optimum headcount for its creative division. “The larger we grew the less intimate knowledge I had of all the accounts we were working on,” says Anthony Trimino, creative director and CEO. “We decided that we wanted to strive for quality rather than quantity. We felt that strategically limiting our growth to focus more on the advertising and the branding was more important in developing compelling work and making a difference in our industry.” It’s a refreshing attitude, and one that seems set to earn Traffi k a reputation that will secure edge